At Central Jersey College Prep, Demand Far Outweighs Supply

Central Jersey College Prep Charter School officials expect to have about 2,000 applications for 192 open spots in the 2019-2020 school year.

Applications for admission to Central Jersey College Prep Charter School once again far outnumber the available open slots, a school official said.

As of the end of January, the school has received about 1,300 applications, said Namik Sercan, the school’s chief educational officer. That’s as compared to the 1,600 it received by the end of last year’s application period, he said.

“I do think it will hit 1,800 or 2,000 by the end of the month, which is the deadline,” he said.

The Mettlers Road school has only 192 available slots, he said: 96 each in Kindergarten and 6th Grade.

“The demand is increasing from the parents,” Sercan said. “We see that from the open houses that we’ve had, the application numbers, the phone calls and the emails that we receive.”

Sercan spoke about the school’s applications after the third open house for prospective students, held on Feb. 3.

CJCP will be a full K-12 school starting in the 2019-2020 school year, with the addition of 6th Grade. The school has been approved for a maximum of 96 students per grade.

Sercan said some grades have hit that max, while others will reach it in the next few years.

“In a couple of years, we’re going to accept new students in Kindergarten only,” he said.

The school will hold its annual lottery in March, after the application period ends. As it did last year, the admission lottery will be weighted, but there will be some changes, Sercan said.

“Last year we did a two-to-one ratio favoring students from low-income families, we petitioned to the state Department of Education to increase the lottery ratio to three-to-one, so their names will be placed into the pool three times,” he said. “Also, we’re including English language learners and also homeless students.”

“There are so few spots, I hope we can fill those spots with students in those three groups,” Sercan said.

Sercan said the school is still searching for a New Brunswick satellite location. Several earlier possibilities did not work out.

“The New Brunswick facility is kind of up in the air at this moment,” he said. “We’re working on a facility. I hope we can come to an agreement.”

“If we can open the campus in New Brunswick, well be able to create an additional 72 slots for 6th Grade,” he said. “We can blend it with some 7th Grade students, it will depend on the applications.”

“We’re just negotiating the terms and conditions, we don’t have a commitment from anybody at this moment,” Sercan said.


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